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KP South Fork - 11 members in 34 triplogs have rated this an average 3.9 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 15 2021
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 Routes 78
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 Triplogs 56

40 female
 Joined Oct 21 2016
 Tempe, AZ
Hannagan Meadow Grant/KP Creek LoopAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 15 2021
MAP
Hiking13.66 Miles 3,441 AEG
Hiking13.66 Miles   9 Hrs   43 Mns   1.45 mph
3,441 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I THINK this was a really pretty hike. My memory is a little clouded by all the thorns stuck in my body but that's another story. I remember thinking how beautiful KP Creek was. There were some areas with downed trees to navigate but the trail was in pretty good shape & never difficult to find. There were a couple springs flowing out of rock, cool caves with water flowing through, and tons of little waterfalls!

And then...Blue Cabin trail happened.

The connection from KP Creek & Blue Cabin trail is non-existent. I scrambled up where the map showed the trail starting but there was no sign of it from KP. The Blue Cabin trail is mostly not a trail anymore (until about 3/4 of the way up). Honestly, there were a few times where I just stopped & thought "I can't do this anymore. I'm just going to stay here. No way I can make it to the top." And this is coming from someone who is generally unfazed by barreling straight through thorn bushes. The thorn bushes were so thick, and the trail so non-existent, that I had to commit to whatever path I choose since the thorns really wouldn't allow me to turn back & look for another route. I'm grateful for the footsteps left ahead of me. They were pretty faint but at least they gave me some indication of a path to take. Sometimes that path was up high, side-stepping along steep loose dirt, just to come back down to the creek. It seemed like the footsteps I was following were trying to find the best route too. The hike up Blue Cabin trail is a constant choice between downed trees so thick & piled up that they are almost impossible to cross or a deep dive through thick thorn bushes. The view looking up towards Blue is incredibly beautiful though so that kept me going (also I was listening to the book Grandma Gatewood's walk driving up & kept telling myself if she could do it, so could I!). Lots of water along this canyon as well with beautiful cold little waterfalls to escape the thorns for a minute. The trail finally clears around 1.7 miles up. It was a heavenly feeling. If I were smart, I would have continued up Blue Cabin trail to meet up with McKittrick trail. But I didn't do that.

There is an unnamed side trail shown on maps that shoots off east from Blue Cabin trail & appears to be a shortcut to Blue Peak trail. I told myself before starting my hike that I wouldn't take it because it was probably too overgrown & I would stick with the main trail. Then I saw it as I was coming up Blue Cabin (and had just exited the thorny hell) and it looked so clear & nice & apparently my brain was foggy from thorns because I took it anyway. My advice: don't take this trail. Stick with Blue Cabin trail to McKittrick & put in the extra miles.

Finally made it to Blue Peak trail & sailed right up the clear lovely trail to the top. Cool lookout tower but the lower steps have been removed so no one can go up. The views go on forever. Signed the summit register at the top & found my friends' names on the 1st page! Very cool! Continuing along McKittrick the views continue to be fantastic. Trail eventually turned to road & I hiked the 3.5 miles of dirt road until the KP Campground was below. Went down towards the campground over a low sloping area that was surprisingly easy-going.

This area is so gorgeous but I'm bringing gardening clippers for Bear Wallow next month. The thorns are next level around here! Temps were low 70's but it felt hot. I drank about 3L and apparently needed more because I was super thirsty driving home. I had a couple bear bells connected to me & whistled tunes when I wasn't breathing too heavy and didn't see any bears. The bear bells weren't loud enough to scare away birds that I came upon & frightened a couple times though so idk how effective they are. Hopefully we are able to keep our distance from each other in Bear Wallow too!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Aug 01 2020
friendofThundergod
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
North Fork KP Trail #93Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 01 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 
Linked linked
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I made one more quick trip to the Blue Range before school starts back up with Katie and a few of our friends. We were mainly there to camp and sight see, but we got some hiking in too.

I hiked the first mile and a half of the North Fork Trail the day before to make sure it was at least in reasonable shape. After determining the trail was definitely passable and not that bad, I decided we would take advantage of the fact we had multiple vehicles and do a North Fork-South Fork hike of the KP Creek drainage.

As mentioned earlier, the North Fork Trail was in decent shape and we made good time to the confluence and “falls.” We took an extended break at the falls and then headed up the south fork. The bottom 2 plus miles are getting overgrown and the deadfall is piling up down there, but the final mile to KP Cienega was great.

The North Fork proved to be a great option and I found the trail in better shape and it to be more enjoyable this time around vs my last time on the trail in 2014. In fact, I would recommend the North Fork Trail for trips to the confluence until the South Fork Trail is properly cleared. If you want to see the meadow and best parts of the South Fork Trail right now, just hike the first mile and turn around. There is good raspberry picking along these trails right now.
Flora
Flora
Red Raspberry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max K P Tank 1-25% full 1-25% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max KP South Fork - KP Confluence Light flow Light flow
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Jul 17 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Routes 313
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 17 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking2.00 Miles
Hiking2.00 Miles
 
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It’s hard not to take at least a small stroll down this trail, if you are in the area.

With each trip this area seems to show more signs of new life and recovery. The cienega was green and the flowers are coming out. Even with the recent rain, the creek levels are low. This area seems to have got enough rain to prevent a big fire this summer, but now they need some gushers to get these drainages flowing a little more robustly for a bit.
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Apr 24 2020
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
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 Photos 9,014
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2020
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,438 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles
1,438 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I made a return to the Blue over a three day weekend with Katie. We started with a classic.

There was a lot of turkey hunters and a little snow at the trailhead. The trail could use a little TLC, but it was generally in good shape by Blue Range standards. The falls were flowing nicely as well. This was the earliest in the year I had been into this area and I appreciated getting to see it in another season.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 K P Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
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May 27 2018
MountainMatt
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 Guides 3
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 Photos 3,407
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male
 Joined Jan 24 2016
 Arizona
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 27 2018
MountainMatt
Hiking7.33 Miles 1,647 AEG
Hiking7.33 Miles   4 Hrs   9 Mns   1.86 mph
1,647 ft AEG      12 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
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This is one of those hikes I first saw on HAZ many many years ago and always wanted to check it out but its far distance always put it too far out of reach.
Well no more excuses and after a weekend of shenanigans in the White Mountains and helping the Wilderness Boys with their annual spruce tip picking I set out solo further east to "The Blue".

No more hikers on the trail when I started around 3pm but the trail was still filled with traffic (deadfall).
The upper portion of the trail seemed to have the most downed trees and it became much easier on the feet as I made my way down.

Took a break at the confluence to bust out the new Manfrotto tripod which weighs as much as 10 bricks and doesn't even fit in my 55 liter pack but boy is it sturdy and immediately made a huge difference in my photos.
Although the quality of imagery on HAZ is not up to par and I've tinkered with the image resizing and dimensions many times but cant seem to get it right so if you want to see what my photos should look like please check out my website as it means a lot to me since I can see them full clarity and want the HAZ world to also. :)

Saw about two dozen or more Mule deer on the way out it was ridiculous and along with the howling coyote I got to watch in the morning behind a pair of binos it all made for a great wildlife experience.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 K P Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max KP Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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Jul 01 2017
nonot
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male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
KP Trail #70Alpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 01 2017
nonot
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
KP South Fork, KP North Fork, Ackre Lake, then trying to loop out.

KP South and North Fork are clear of downed trees and the forest service continues to work on erosion control on these trails. In general these seemed to be in fairly good shape and I saw a trail crew when hiking, so the FS is continuing to try to improve the conditions.

Water in both forks and flowing nicely near the confluence. It dries up quickly moving up North Fork.

Ackre Lake is a lovely little pond, probably my favorite find of the trip. Trying to make a recommended loop out of Ackre lake proved a horrible decision, but I did make it back to the highway.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Aker Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
3 archives
Jun 16 2017
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 16 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,438 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles
1,438 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I visited an old favorite with Jackie on the first morning of our trip to the Blue Range. The trail is still in need of work, but it is not horrible. The falls had a pretty low flow, but we still enjoyed the destination and hike.
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May 30 2016
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2016
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,438 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   2.31 mph
1,438 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
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BiFrost
chumley
John9L
This was our last hike in the Primitive Blue Range before going home. We stayed at a great car camping spot the night before, complete with a meadow, some solid views from the rim and 3G. I chose this as the representative hike for what the higher elevations of the Blue Range offer.

After seeing how much everyone enjoyed the first few miles of KP, I did have a little regret that I did not plan our backpack for this area. Someone even commented, "Its like Humphrey's, but with a flowing creek." The trail does have a few burned areas, but they are short and not overly taxing. We made the 1500 feet descent in pretty good time and were at the two cascading forks of the KP after about an hour or so. We enjoyed the modest cascades and unique area for a few minutes and then found a nice spot to have a quick snack. After a couple of minutes, I noticed something coming up the trail. At first I thought is was Chumley lumbering up the trail, as he had left to go shoot some more cascades. However, very quickly I realized it was a bear that was making its way up the North Fork Trail. John held an indifferent Blanco and we shot away with our Iphones. There seemed to be no rush to get a good picture though, as it was coming right for us and the shots were sure to get better. It was at about this moment that the bear had its "ah ha moment." The bear stopped exactly at the use trail we had used to reach the creek. It picked up our scents and definitely discerned that we had just been there moments before and most likely still in the area. The big guy or gal seemed to think about going up trail for a minute, but then as calmly as it walked up the trail, it turned around and walked back.

No great photos as far as I know, but an awesome 3-5 minute viewing experience at a safe distance for us and the bear. It was John's first bear sighting in AZ and it validated my statement that it was not a matter of "if" but "when" which I was basing on past experiences in the area. It took until mile 51 and our last hour or so in the Blue Range, but we finally saw our bear! As soon as the bear left, we realized that the variable all weekend was Chumley. No way we see that bear if Chumley was there, as the silence of the canyon we enjoyed would have undoubtedly been broken up by electronic bird chirping noises and Chumley telling us we were wrong about something.

Quick hike back up, not the worst 1500 feet of gain you will ever do, but a little climb nonetheless.
Fauna
Fauna
Black Bear
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May 30 2016
chumley
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48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2016
chumley
Hiking5.99 Miles 1,449 AEG
Hiking5.99 Miles   2 Hrs   53 Mns   2.43 mph
1,449 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
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BiFrost
friendofThundergod
John9L
This must have once been an absolute gem!

There are some excellent stretches of scenery here, but there are also some disappointing fire scars. The creek itself looks quite healthy.

It is obvious that the FS has put a lot of work into keeping this section of trail clear. Lots of deadfall has been cut and cleared, and huge cairns have been built to make it easy to connect the dots. Despite the work, it's still a rough trail right now. There must be continual deadfall, and for all that has been cut, there are dozens of trees that cross the trail. The raspberries are taking over, and those thorns will tear you up.

Somehow I'd still recommend this one. It's a treat, and as time passes after the fire, I think it will only get better as long as the FS puts in a little effort to keep it clear, which from the work that's been done so far, I would assume will occur.
Named place
Named place
KP Cienega KP Creek
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max K P Tank 51-75% full 51-75% full
Plenty of water in the tank, and several trickling streams through the cienega.
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33s over 45s
May 30 2016
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
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51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2016
BiFrost
Hiking5.90 Miles 1,438 AEG
Hiking5.90 Miles   2 Hrs   48 Mns   2.31 mph
1,438 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
chumley
friendofThundergod
John9L
Last hike of the Memorial Day weekend FOTG planned a short 6 miles out and back down KP Cieniga Creek. My first time down this creek and it was worth the hike for sure. Some fire damage but the trail has been maintained and easy to follow. The goal was hiking to confluence of South Fork and North Fork of KP. Some nice waterfalls at the confluence and we spent some time checking out the area. Afterwards we headed uphill about 200 feet above the falls and took a break. As we were sitting there Lee spotted a bear coming up the trail and we all watched as it continued towards us. It was a safe distance away and probably picked up our scent since we had just been down where the bear was. After several minutes the bear turned slowly and headed back down the trail. Cool to see and great end to the weekend!
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May 30 2016
John9L
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 Guides 6
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male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 30 2016
John9L
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,436 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,436 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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BiFrost
chumley
friendofThundergod
The final hike of our trip to The Blue. We wanted something relatively short & mild because we’re heading back to Phoenix afterward. The KP South Fork was the perfect choice.

The hike in went really well as you follow the drainage down. This area was severely burned in places and there was some deadfall to negotiate but is in good condition overall. Our group took our time and took a variety of pics. We eventually hit the bottom with the junction with the North Fork and took a break after admiring the waterfall. Karl, FOTG & myself were chilling on the trail above the river when FOTG noticed a bear walking up the trail. We took several pics as it sauntered up the trail and then stopped where FOTG & I climbed down to the river. We knew it was on to our scent and after a minute the bear turned around and calmly walked back the way it came. This was a sweet experience and my first Arizona bear! It was the perfect way to end our trip.

After the bear sighting we started the hike out. It was relatively slow going for our group as we climbed out of the drainage. We were back to the TH around 11am and then prepped for the drive back to Phx. Our trip to The Blue was complete and it left me wanting more. We had a great group and thanks FOTG for planning the trip and driving! Let’s do it again.
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Aug 02 2014
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Primitive Blue Range, AZ 
Primitive Blue Range, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 02 2014
friendofThundergod
Hiking13.03 Miles 4,062 AEG
Hiking13.03 Miles
4,062 ft AEG
 
This was intended to be a nice and easy over-night hike with hopefully some good fishing and a nice camp site along the creek.

The fishing turned out to be a dud, nothing like Grant Creek. I just don't see how any of the sections I fished could sustain Apache Trout. The conservation officer's grim outlook for KP Creek still supporting Apache Trout seems to have been warranted. He felt the fire had probably simply got too hot along large stretches of KP Creek and damaged to much of the valuable canopy needed to shade and keep the water cool. The lack of fish was not the end of the world to me, in fact, it was somewhat expected yet, it did change my plans slightly as I really was not ready to just set up camp at 11 in the morning, one can only do so much reading. I decided to just keep progressing on loop and maybe find a nice campsite in the higher elevations.

I never found a nice campsite in the higher elevations and some real nasty storm clouds had me considering skipping Blue Peak for the moment and pushing for the car. I could car camp somewhere that night and hit a whole new trail the next day. I was happy I went for the car! Although, it did not take much distant thunder and light rain to expedite this decision. My scientific method of looking at the water in the dog's dishes leads me to believe the dogs and I got about 2.5 or more inches of rain dumped on us from Saturday evening until our Sunday morning retreat.

Trail Run-Down.

KP South Fork-Pretty good shape for Primitive Blue Range, easy to follow, ends at two beautiful waterfalls. I was a day light on really seeing them push some water.

Blue Lookout Trail-I give this trail two emphatic :pk: :pk: based on my new unofficial Primitive Blue Range Trail rating system. The pumpkins represent a fraction of poor language used to navigate this overgrown, non-existent, and slightly steep trail.

Blue Cabin Ruins Trail- See above trail rating guide. Missed the cabin ruins, missed a few of upper switchbacks and can't really say for sure how much of this very short trail I actually covered.

I ended up staying at the TH for Blue Lookout Tower and Indian Peak also the beginnings of the Blue Cabin Ruins Trail and the Mckittrick Trail. However, I woke up to torrential rain and about 25 meters of visibility. At that point it was hard to justify the effort it would take to navigate the very rough looking McKittrick Trail for the 50 meter panoramic views from atop the largest peak in the Primitive Blue Range. I cancelled that mission, regrouped and headed for the first trail without rain.

Side Notes:

I am going to do some route manager work on my last two Blue Range trips, as there are some desperately needed official routes in there that could fill voids on some description pages for that area. The area in general is so deficient on reliable current information all the standard forest service excerpts on the description pages are pre-fire and only worth so much. However, I kind of like that aspect of making the long trek out there it certainly makes it interesting. I will have to say there are probably not too many wilderness areas in AZ rivaling the Blue Range in terms of ruggedness and challenge. Some of those trails have simply been lost to time and lack of use. Most have already given way to nature's advance or are regressing rapidly. However, I am here to tell you there are still some areas worth visiting out there, rumors of the areas demise are perhaps a little over-stated.
Culture
Culture
Camp-fire
Meteorology
Meteorology
Lightning
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3 archives
Jun 21 2014
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 27
 Routes 313
 Photos 9,014
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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Blue Range Primitive Area, AZ 
Blue Range Primitive Area, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 21 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack41.79 Miles 9,841 AEG
Backpack41.79 Miles3 Days         
9,841 ft AEG
 
Made another pilgrimage east to the Apache-Sitgreaves, more specifically the Primitive Blue Range area, or as my map says the Blue Range Wilderness and Primitive Area. However, even the latter is a bit of a misnomer, as currently the Blue Range has not achieved wilderness status in the eyes of Congress and to this day remains the last "primitive" designated area in the United States. Not sure what any of that means, however, anyone who knows me, knows that I would have a natural attraction to any area with the word primitive in its title. Similarly, since my first visit about a year ago, this area has really intrigued me. It was in this are that Aldo Leopold (arguably the founding father in American conservationism and ecology) obtained his first position working under the federal forest service. Leopold saw much in his day, he spoke fondly of the "mountain" in fact, one of his most famous written works, "Thinking Like a Mountain" is based off of his expediences in and around Escudilla and the Escudilla Wilderness area. So the question for me: could I find what gravitated Leopold to this area and transformed him into perhaps America's first conservationists, but 100 years later and after the greatest forest fire the Southwest has seen in contemporary times? Spoiler alert the answer is a resounding yes!

A chance encounter with a game warden around 10:00 p.m. on Friday changed my plans slightly for the three days. He had personally just conducted a "shocking" and fish count of Grant Creek and gave me some pointers on where all the trout were congregated. However, if I were to hit these areas, I would have to modify my original route of Grant Creek Trail which stays high above the creek until crossing around the lower elevations where the Game Warden officer told me all the fish had been killed or can no longer exist due to warmer water temps caused by the destroying of their natural shade and the naturally warmer water at lower elevations. So from the intersection of trails #76 Foot Creek and #75 Grant Creek I took trail #306 down to Grant Creek and decided I would just fish and hike the whole stream length off-trail to its southern intersection with trail #75. If the fishing and beauty of Grant Creek were not as great as they were, this might have turned out to be a negative experience. Movement down stream was very slow at times, however, as I stated earlier the fishing was amazing and the creek beautiful so it negated the slow moving pace of boulder hoping, and down climbing water falls complete with three day pack and pole in hand, oh and along with keeping Blanco floating and upright through some of the deeper pools and obstacles. From there I made good time to the Blue River, passed through a little bit of civilization as I walked the forest road that connected my ambitious loop. I took the first opportunity to camp at a place marked the "box" on my map. This was one of first areas where there were not a dozen no trespassing signs or signs proclaiming the owner's willingness to shoot me if I stepped foot on their property. Day one turned out to be a little over 17 miles, camping was nice, but not spectacular, ate well, slept well.

I thought day 2 would be a much easier day, however, that did not turn out to be necessarily true, thanks in part to some of my decision making. I hate to give a negative trail description, because with trails everyone has their own opinions, and I would not want to steer someone away from an area. However, Steeple Trail #73 is probably a trail one could leave off their to do list for the time being. The upper sections of the trail have really been damage by fire and the trip across KP Mesa is enough to make one yearn for a very quick change of scenery. However, that is simply not the case as you seem to hike forever to simply cross KP Mesa's fire damaged landscape where one can easily see areas that suffered 100 percent devastation from fire. From Steeple Trail #73 I took trail #70 into the KP Creek area. However, this trail got no better! In fact, I will give a fair warning, if you do not have a G.P.S route for this trail or sound topo reading skills, I would avoid this section of trail all together. One can safely say to some degree that this trail ceases to exist in several spots, littered with dead fall, washed out and very faint in the good spots. Nevertheless, we were doing just fine, traversing the several drainages leading to K.P. when I had the great decision to cut a mile or so off route and explore some off-trail sections of K.P. Creek. The whole situation reminded me of something my friend Jim always says when I am pondering short-cuts and more direct off trail routes. He always says, "if that way is shorter or easier, that would be the way." Well in this case that held to be 100% true. I could tell from cliffs along opposite side of creek that there was potential for not being able to cut down to creek and man did that hold true, cliffed out once, then took a side drainage only to come to an impassible pour-over so intimidating that I did not even snap a photo, Blanco and I finally broke through down about a 4-5 foot wide scree shoot, hit the creek where Blanco drank profusely and I silently chastised myself. One would think at this stage in the game I was done making those kind of mistakes, but something tells me that won't be the last time. We slowly made our way up the lower section of K.P Creek where the trail is a little tough to follow and made camp at a superb location.

The final day was just an easy hike up K.P. Creek to K.P. Rim Trail, back to the upper section of Steeple Trail and back to the TH. Everything on this hike went well except finding my short connector trail to complete my K.P. Rim loop. Similar to the hike description, the turn-off for the trail is very hard to find and the forest fire certainly did not make it any easier. In fact, the author wrote had we not had the route downloaded we would have never found the turn-off. Unfortunately, the author failed to post "said" route to description, I guess his way of adding a little excitement for the next guy, we found it but you are on your own I guess. After accepting defeat I was reserved to back-track and make the less than 2 mile trek down 191 to my TH. However, this whole thought was leaving a bitter taste in my mouth, almost like a surrender, or a walk of shame in my mind. First a small voice contemplated just going off-trail the whole way until I found something to walk on. However, this voice was quickly drowned out by about 1000 sane other voices in my head who still had yesterday's folly fresh in their minds and they quickly and probably for the better got that thought out of my head. I then looked down and could clearly see the meadow I needed to get to, but no trail to get there. I said to myself I will go exactly .25 miles to meadow look for Steeple Trail #73, if I don't find, I turn right around. As luck would have it, after about 100 feet off trail I ran into my long lost connector trail.

The trail now ran in a complete opposite direction of the trail featured on my G.P.S! Oh well no time to curse and dwell, I was happy to be on trails and heading back to car, went through some pretty bad burnt out sections, but oddly enough found some beauty in them. Whether it was the stubborn trees that refused to burn or the half million or so 5 to 15 feet tall Aspen blowing fiercely in the wind and the numerous reinvigorated meadows and cienegas, I found beauty in it all.

Even with the adventure in finding my connector trail, Blanco and I still hit TH by 11:30 in morning.

Final Notes:

HAZ Appreciation I used a hike description from Arizonaed written in 2004 and it turned out to be pretty much spot on. Which is something to say, as he obviously wrote pre-Bear Wallow Fire. Route might need some small adjustments, but overall great hike description!
Geology
Geology
Mud
Named place
Named place
Aker Lake
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2 archives
May 29 2014
azfamilyhike
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 140
 Triplogs 20

male
 Joined May 01 2014
 show low
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2014
azfamilyhike
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,716 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,716 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We decided to head up to the blue range for a hike and check out some of the area since the wallow fire. There was quite a bit of fire damage made me sad to see it all burned, but the good news is the aspen trees are coming in nicely.

The start of the hike was very green, yellow wild flowers are all along the trail. Be aware there are quite a few fallen trees over the trail, about 20 or so. I also decided to wear shorts for the hike, bad idea. There are a lot of thorn bushes in a few places along the tail so my legs got some scratched up!

Kp creek was beautiful and green, the creek crossings are easy to pass without getting wet. The fire damage was not as bad as I expected on the trail, the only bad parts was the flood damage. There where a lot of birds in the area even saw a nest with an egg in it.

We decided to stop at the valley before the confluence of the two creeks in the flat area to have lunch. It was a nice spot with the small waterfalls going down the creek. It seemed like a good idea at the time then we where going to continue on to the larger 10+ft water fall. Before we where done a storm moved in and it started raining on us we had to pack up and head back without seeing the larger of the falls. :(

The hike back up was a nice little workout my son did awesome he is a trooper. Overall a good hike very green lots of flowers, just surprised we did not see and animals. I would have liked to see this hike before the fire.
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Aug 17 2012
lanewinblade
avatar

 Photos 100
 Triplogs 15

45 male
 Joined Nov 04 2009
 Gilbert, AZ
KP Creek, AZ 
KP Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2012
lanewinblade
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
1,080 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Day hiked this trail in 2012 (just realized that I forgot to add the triplog) to see what was left after the fire. When you first pull off Hwy 191, you would believe that the area suffered substantial fire damage but that damage was really contained to the road. The KP Cienega campground is still there and beautiful as ever. The first 2 miles of this trail were untouched by the fire and are as beautiful as ever (small victories). However, as the Forest Service BAER report indicates, this trail suffered significant flooding damage and most of the trail from the 2-mile marker is gone. There is a wash that comes into KP Creek on the right at the 2-mile marker that used to be a trickle that you stepped over. This area is now a football wide and long of burnt trees and huge boulders. After some scrambling through dense brush, we finally connected with the trail as it climbs the west side of the creek right before you reach the North Fork and the waterfalls. Unfortunately, the North Fork of KP Creek was devastated by flooding and the one and only flat spot for camping at the base of the two waterfalls is no more. As this was one of my favorite hikes, I could stomach no more and decided to turn back. There is evidence that the fire damage becomes more significant downstream from the waterfalls.
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Sep 19 2010
SkyIslander18
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 Guides 3
 Photos 4,732
 Triplogs 1,891

51 male
 Joined Sep 29 2004
 Small Town USA
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 19 2010
SkyIslander18
Hiking3.00 Miles 540 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles
540 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took my annual trip up the Coronado Trail to Springerville to be with family. First stop along the way was the KP South Fork trail. I was a little pressed for time to get to Springerville so I only ended up hiking down the trail 1.5 miles before turning back. Nice meadows at the trailhead/campground and I'll have to return in the future to complete this one.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Oct 10 2009
hhwolf14
avatar

 Photos 832
 Triplogs 173

43 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 10 2009
hhwolf14
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,080 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
1,080 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since I was in the general vicinity (being a bit of a trek from Phoenix), and as it was still morning after savoring Escudilla, decided to check this trail out. Beautiful aspens greet you at the trailhead, but you soon enter the creekside world, which offers little evidence to the seasons above. The stream crossings were much less for for me than for Marley- my feet were starting to get that tired, clumsy gait after a couple days of rocky trails. The falls were sweet and peaceful.
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Aug 22 2009
JoelHazelton
avatar

 Guides 16
 Routes 10
 Photos 967
 Triplogs 406

35 male
 Joined Mar 22 2006
 Phoenix, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 22 2009
JoelHazelton
Backpack6.00 Miles 1,080 AEG
Backpack6.00 Miles2 Days         
1,080 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rain! Too much time spent in the tent staying dry.
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"Arizona is the land of contrast... You can go from Minnesota to California in a matter of minutes, then have Mexican food that night." -Jack Dykinga

http://www.joelhazelton.com
Aug 07 2009
Crzy4AZ
avatar

 Guides 31
 Routes 96
 Photos 2,637
 Triplogs 603

48 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2009
Crzy4AZ
Hiking3.50 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
650 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Baby4AZ
GI Jones
We were in Hannagan Meadow for a long weekend to enjoy cooler summer weather, and we took Caroline in the Kelty kids carrier for the first time. She did great :D but we didn't make it to the waterfalls. Next time I'll add in a little neck support to help her nap better. The grass in the meadow at the trailhead was so beautiful - I could have watched the grass bending and flowing in the wind forever.
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Aug 07 2009
Baby4AZ
avatar

 Triplogs 10

female
 Joined Apr 19 2009
 Scottsdale, AZ
KP South ForkAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2009
Baby4AZ
Hiking3.50 Miles 650 AEG
Hiking3.50 Miles
650 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Crzy4AZ
GI Jones
I rode in the Kelty kids carrier for the first time. It was fun to grab the tree limbs with my hand stretched out.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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average hiking speed 1.98 mph
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